Archive for 2008

IN FLUX: after fantastic, there’s tiny

Posted August 26th, 2008

I visited Kathryn TeBordo’s rehearsal for After Fantastic, one of four short works billed for Mascher Space Coop’s IN FLUX, which will premiere this Friday night at the Arts Bank. After Fantastic will present physical renderings of five of Dorothea Lasky’s poems, from her first collection of poems, AWE. Kathryn is generating her phrase work from Dorothea’s poems, and she is working with tiny.

< %image(20080826-kathryn and dottie.jpg|250|170|Kathryn and Dottie rehearse)%>

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Swimming in a sea of birds

Posted August 26th, 2008

The set for Sebastienne Mundheim’s Sea of Birds is a sight to behold. Two enormous paper curtains greet me. They seem to billow even while still. Beyond the curtains is an enormous, teepee-like tent structure that Sebastienne and her creative team built this summer, using bamboo, tracing paper, and cheesecloth. Around the inner perimeter of tent sit different set pieces: bundles of sticks wait in the corners of the tent; three pairs of large boots stand to one side; life-sized papier mache puppets lie in the foreground. Beside the tent, a group of tiny puppets, made out of wine bottle corks, lie on a miniature bed with a patchwork blanket.

< %image(20080730-gregor small.jpg|250|222|Photo: Jacques-Jean Tiziou/www.jjtiziou.net)%>

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VIDEO: this Disco Descending preview is on fire

Posted August 25th, 2008

Check out this new video preview of Karen Getz’ Disco Descending by Woodshop Films. Opening August 28 (THIS Thursday!), this sequel to Karen’s Suburban Love Songs (Live Arts, 2006) will run through September 7. Descend the spiral staircase and let your hips get busy.

<%image(20080825-Disco_Jen blog.jpg|350|272|Photo: Matt Clowney)%>

VIDEO: Woodshop Films unveils the secrets behind The European Lesson

Posted August 25th, 2008

Brush up on your Slovak and watch this new video preview of the uber-anticipated world premiere of Jo Stromgren’s The European Lesson, by Woodshop Films. Výkrièník!!

<%image(20080825-Kak zvesty_3 blog.jpg|350|323|Photo: Manuel Dominguez Jr.)%>

It’s more than just a bar

Posted August 24th, 2008

If you’ve been feeling caught up in a swath of confusion over the departure of the Late Night Cabaret, worried that you’ll have nowhere to hang out after each night at the Fest, you owe it to yourself to read this. This year, we got some feedback from friends and artists, and decided to change things up a bit–so we created the Festival Bar. You’ll find a lot of things you like at the Festival Bar–drinks, dancing, friends, artists, music, Fergie, endless pieces of Festival publicity, and irrational behavior of all kinds.

BUT THERE’S MORE!! You’ll also find…

Turkish food from Konak Restaurant in Old City (new dishes every night)

A nightly visual media installation by Lars Jan (designer/director of James Sugg’s The Sea, Live Arts 2006)–this will include everything from cinematic mash-ups of classics by directors like Fellini, Hitchcock, and Disney, to stop-motion, dancefilms, and machinima. Here are just a few images you might find wandering along the walls of our warehouse:

< %image(20080825-Miwa Matreyek houses and electronics.jpg|350|206|Artwork: Miwa Matreyek. www. semihemisphere.com)%>
< %image(20080825-bausch_1d8bf8b3b1.jpg|350|233|http://flickr.com/photos/82328988@N00/631451344/)%>
< %image(20080825-La Dolce Vita.jpg|350|222|From Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita.)%>

Arcade games like pinball and Wii Boxing (!!!!)
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Crayons and paper for the traditionalists among us
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(red + blue = Purple Mountain’s Majesty?)

Half of the Festival Bar will contain all of the wonderful things listed above–the other half is a black box theater where we’ll present two Live Arts shows–The European Lesson by director/choreographer Jo Stromgren (premiering August 29), and louder, a sound and sight installation by Norwegian art collective, Verdensteatret. Don’t worry, there is a very sturdy wall separating the two spaces.

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FINAL Philly Fringe Preview + another crazy video from last week!

Posted August 22nd, 2008

The last and FINAL Philly Fringe Preview Series event at Plays and Players is happening this Monday. This is the last dose of previews before the real thing comes and smacks you in the face–we’ll see previews of 4×4 by Philly Dramatists, A Streetcar Named Durang by The Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium, Have a Nice Life by Nice People Theater, and a special premiere of Brat Productions’ Martha and Dotty: Microwave Mambo!

8pm * $10 at the door
Plays and Players Theater at 1714 Delancey Place in Center City

If you need further encouragement, check out this excellent video from last week’s event, courtesy of the folks at Street Talkin’.

The Philly Fringe Preview Series is sponsored by WPRB public radio. Tune into 103.3 FM or from anywhere in the world via streaming audio at

Why is the Atlantic so freaking cold this year? Ask Thaddeus Phillips.

Posted August 21st, 2008

THE MeLTING BRiDgE features one of Phillips’ trademark uber-transformable sets combined with expert film technology that takes audiences on a wild ride from Mexico City to the Amazon Basin and up to the Bering Strait in a work that looks at our current climate crisis in relationship to the Mayan calendar, which prophesied a world apocalypse for the year 2012.

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This will mark the third work in Phillips’ Americas trilogy, which has given audiences a transnational creative perspective on the people of the Americas and how our cultures have combined and taken shape over generations.

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More Fringe previews tonight at L’Etage

Posted August 21st, 2008
$10 cover at the door
8pm – 11pm (performances begin at 9)
at L’Etage, 6th and Bainbridge, above Beau Monde

Come and get a taste of the outrageous, thoughtful, and fun LGBT-themed work you can see in this year’s Philly Fringe! Hosted by George Alley, this event will feature previews from…

Sex, with Benefits, Daniel Solon
The Maguffin, Stone Soup Theatre Arts
Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, To The Wall Productions
Waiting for the Show, Theresa Diamond/Tender Thread Productions

and more!

PRESS: Sophocles at the skatepark–true story or urban legend?

Posted August 21st, 2008

Check out this week’s City Paper and read about Oedipus at FDR, the Live Arts show that sold out waaaay before the Guide even hit the streets.

<%image(20080821-skaters1.jpg|250|183|Photo: Jessica Kourkounis for City Paper)%>

A.D. Amorosi writes:
“Delpech-Ramey’s speed-wheeling deconstruction of Oedipus at Colonus goes beyond Sophocles’ wandering gloom to find a future and newfound faith in this hard urban setting, with local skateboarders acting as the play’s Greek chorus and its soundtrack consisting of dirty beats and skuzzy trip-hop spun through personal headphones.”

Mmm, skuzzy trip-hop. Wanna read more? Click here to read the full article.

PRESS: how much does Philly Weekly love us?

Posted August 20th, 2008

They love us a lot! In addition to this epic cover story on Kate Wawa’s Car, they ran one lovely and mysterious profile on Jan Fabre, famed off-the-wall Flemish artist who will bring his new work, Another Sleepy Dusty Delta Day to the Festival for its US premiere. You’ll find this if you scroll past Wawa’s story. Click here, then scroll.

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THEN THERE’S MORE! Cooper Robb did his first round of Live Arts and Fringe picks for the season featuring Live Arts shows The show must go on, a dance and pop-music bonanza by French choreographer Jérôme Bel that will feature a totally local cast of acclaimed Philly performers; THE MeLTING BRiDgE, an eco-conscious globe-trotting tropical adventure brought to you by The Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental/Thaddeus Phillips; and Karen Getz’ Disco Descending, which is that combination of Greek mythology and disco fever that you’ve been waiting for since John Travolta traded in his tight white bells for what was it now? Scientology. Right.


Philly Fringe picks included Hotel Obligado’s Beauty Is, directed by Dawn Falato (who you’ll also see in Disco Descending) and featuring choreography by Robin Marcotte; Temple Theaters’ In Conflict, a testimonial theater piece about the experiences of American military officers in Iraq; and Brat Productions’ radio play, Martha and Dotty: Microwave Mambo!

Click here to read the real thing.

VIDEO: Street Talkin’ at IN FLUX

Posted August 20th, 2008

IN FLUX will feature four fresh new works from Philly’s up-and-coming choreography scene! Street Talkin’ talks with IN FLUX choreographers Sarah Gladwin Camp and Kathryn TeBordo about their respective works, Not on Tuesday and After Fantastic.

Click here to watch.

<%image(20080820-IN FLUX 2 web.jpg|350|233|Photo by Steve Weinik)%>

PRESS: Vroom! Driving with Kate Wawa (and Philly Weekly)

Posted August 20th, 2008

Kate Watson-Wallace is a Philly Weekly cover girl, and a whole lot more–the presses are still hot. Writer Tara Murtha gives the Kate Watson-Wallace an in-depth interview on her company, her mission, and Car, the Live Arts show for which you should be tearing your hair out in anticipation.


“Choreographing theater outside of a classic proscenium stage is an integral part of Watson-Wallace’s vision. She busts apart classic audience-performer dynamics by framing the action up close—sometimes almost too close—and bringing art to audiences in common spaces.” –Tara Murtha

Read the full article here.

JUNK at the Philly Fringe Preview Series

Posted August 19th, 2008

The second installation of the Philly Fringe Preview Series, presented by OnStage Philadelphia at Plays and Players Theater (1714 Delancey Place), was quite the success. Relocating to the downstairs theater was a smart move, as fans of the Fringe quickly filed in to witness what was bound to be a fun and exciting evening. Hosted by Don Montrey and Juliette Pryor of The Don and Julie Show!!!, the night started on the right foot with some quick banter between the two artists, cleverly accompanied by Alex Bechtel. Featured on the bill were The Hoppers Hit the Road, Media Addicts, Good News: Release & Jubilee, Flushdance, Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, and Pushkin at Boldino.

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Festival Bowling Bonanza at North Bowl

Posted August 18th, 2008

We had a ball at the Members-Only Bowling Bash at North Bowl Lounge ‘n’ Lanes on August 14! Members, artists, and staff got together for a night of eating, drinking, and games galore. Here are some pictures from the event, taken by Festival photog Bill Hebert. Click below to see more photos.

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VIDEO: Street Talkin’ on the Fringe

Posted August 18th, 2008

Check out a video snippet of last week’s first Philly Fringe Preview Series event at Plays and Player’s Theater. Fringe artists from all over town came to show a few minutes of their stuff and fringe fans got a taste of what’s to come this season. Click here to watch.

If you like what you see, come out tonight for round two of the Philly Fringe Preview Series.

Details: TONIGHT * 8pm * Plays and Players Theater * 1714 Delancey Place * Tickets are $10 at the door

<%image(20080818-festival_0596 toilet tricycle 2 small.jpg|350|331|Jacques-Jean Tiziou/www.jjtiziou.net)%>

Barrymore nominations are in!

Posted August 13th, 2008

Each year the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia sends scores of volunteer nominators and judges to watch and rate hundreds of performances in Philadelphia and the surrounding area. You could call the Barrymore Awards “Philadelphia’s Tony Awards,” “The Oscars in Philadelphia,” or even “The Philadelphia Theater Community’s Prom.”

At a glitzy ceremony hosted by Philly’s finest (this year at the Crystal Tea Room), artists and audiences will gussy up to celebrate the vibrancy of Philly theater and cheer for the winners!

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Meet Karen Getz!

Posted August 12th, 2008

Last Thursday, Festival donors, friends, and staff gathered for our final Meet the Artist event of the season—this time, we met Karen Getz, creator of Disco Descending. We had the delight of watching the cast rehearse a few sections of this sequel to the 2006 Live Arts hit, Suburban Love Songs. They did the hustle and a new move called the Betty Crocker (what could that be?!) Karen explained that the piece is a retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, most of which takes place in Hades, or what we refer to in the modern era as Hell. What better a place to set the scene, Karen thought, than a disco? Or more specifically, a disco inferno. And so the piece was born. Click here to learn more about this show, or buy tickets.

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Karen marks a move with her actors. Photo by Bill Hebert.

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Another Sleepy Dusty Delta Day at Avignon

Posted August 7th, 2008

The reviews came in from Festival d’Avignon a few weeks ago–translations came in today. Here’s a review that appeared in Le Monde, translated by Liz Turner, our programming assistant.

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Christophe Raynaud de Lage

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The European Lesson: leave your notebooks at home

Posted August 6th, 2008

Yesterday afternoon, Festival staff visited UArts for an informal showing of The European Lesson, which began rehearsals only two weeks ago.

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Sarah Sanford, Catharine Slusar, Aaron Cromie, and John Zak in rehearsal

Jeb Kreager’s character (a wayward, self-employed anthropologist with no formal training) invites us to observe the findings of his field study on gender roles and family relations in Slovak culture. Don’t worry—there’s no paper being presented here. No power point to snooze through. No Venn diagrams to hide from. The European Lesson offers viewers a look at real Slovaks in a purely quotidian state—they eat, work, and interact just as they would at home in Slovakia. Viewers can take pleasure in knowing, among other things, that Slovaks do not practice inbreeding. They have high moral standards. They are hard workers. And they are intensely aware of their own emotions.

As this anthropologist puts it, “Slovakia is the last pickle in the European jar.”

Of course, there’s plenty more to say about the show. Among many other things (some yet to be created), there’ll be three life-changing sexual indiscretions, two smashing, 1960’s era song-and-dance numbers that will undoubtedly knock your socks off, and one very shocking scientific discovery.

Stay tuned for more.

Express yourself: Philly’s creative economy is on the rise

Posted August 4th, 2008

Mayor Nutter, the leaders of Great Expectations, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, and thousands of citizens across the region are putting their heads together this year to figure out how we can improve funding for and participation in the arts in Philadelphia. Here are a few items on what’s been happening this summer:

1. The Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy is back in action!

2. How can we support and improve arts participation in Philadelphia? Citizens are putting in their two cents.

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